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Equipment adjustment/upgrade path


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Looking for suggestions on how to proceed as begin shooting video to supplement and/or market a book and photography. Yesterday videoed a 2.2 mile trail (short clips to assemble in post...but required walking entire trail). Another is up to 7 miles, and others that I may bike. Lugging the weight 2.2 miles really tested my limits. My cameras are primarily for still photography, and using their video features.

Current equipment (in addition to mics, lights, etc. not mentioned)
A7rIII - primary video camera
A6000 - B roll duty, with nature hikes may mount telephoto with 16-35 on A7rIII. Plan to upgrade anyway for 4k capability, 6400 for weight/compactness vs 6600 internal video stabilization. Will have to decide on that, but not the issue of this posting.
Heavy Manfrotto tripod with smooth video head, not used on hikes, other than starting clip, then leave in car transferring camera to gimbal. May carry a carbon fiber monopod for the A6000 that I use on still photo hikes.
DJI Ronin-m gimbal/stabilizer for the A7rIII. This is what kills me on a hike...but great output, and a conversation starter on the trail as hikers see me lugging it. Nothing stealth about it!

Upgrades paths to consider...
1) Gimbal/stabilizer. That Ronin-m is a heavy/bulky design - two side handles and top handle. Considering the single handle design but should it be the 4+ lb capacity for the A7rIII or lighter 2 lb capacity that would only support up to the A6000 class camera.
2) A third camera. Something very light weight like a go-pro or a 1" sensor camera such as the Sony RX-100 or ZV-1 to use as primary on long hikes, leaving the A7rIII setup behind. Also waterproof (either by design or external housing) and small enough to use at a snorkling, non-scuba, depth would be a nice addition.

What do you recommend for stabilization for the larger cameras, and the third camera.

Edited by tizeye
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2 minutes ago, XKAES said:

I'd recommend an assistant.

That would be my wife who has her own ideas...and the correct answer is "Yes, dear."

Yesterday's hike normally a couple hours, but my greeting when returning home 4 hours later was "I didn't know it would take that long!" I can just hear her on the trail with that classic line. Big test will come later this week  with a driving safari. Stopping will be normal but setup for footage is more complex than single composition positioning for stills.

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7 hours ago, XKAES said:

Sorry, I meant a PAID assistant.  They are always more agreeable.

FYI, I could never get my wife to even take notes!

Wouldn't be a problem, assistant or even second shooter, if was a paying client and could be calculated into the invoice total price. Unfortunately, I am the client, so it is speculative video with unknown return where paying an assistant would be an immediate cost.

The idea is more marketing related, building a YouTube channel that focuses on some of the sites I listed in a book I published.  The video is just one more marketing opportunity, introducing people the "Central Florida - Beyond the Theme Parks" and a link in the narrative to purchase, as well as other links - like direct photo purchase. If enough people subscribe to meet YouTube requirements, the channel itself could be monetized. The book (lousy royalty) has over 130 sites and over 300 photos and a link for purchasing the photos (Very profitable.) The video itself is quite simple storyline- and want to create 10 before releasing publicly, recommended for initial monetizing push. The storyline for one currently assembling -1) Tripod/shotgun mic selfie - Welcome into by sign/prominent feature, use book as prop and in this case note on page 55.  2) Tripod/shotgun mic focused on map, generally off camera to side or profile view as pointing to places on map and discussion what to expect, 3) Stabilizer/gimbal -Multiple short clips along trail organized in post with voice over. This is what killed me, walking 2.2 miles with all that gear and the reason for this thread. Finally, 4) Closure clip, tripod/shotgun mic  with self  sitting at picnic table, reviewing what just viewed, encouraging to like/subscribe/comment, etc.

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My only suggestion would be to offer them a PC of the profits -- or an IOU.

Just be grateful you're not stuck trudging around the Rocky Mountains, like me -- with no assistant in sight.   Not even a donkey.

Best of luck.

Edited by XKAES
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